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Welcome, College Football Season!

September 2, 2010 Comments off

I don’t know why Minnesota is opening on the road, but here are some pictures taken from the outside of TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis a few weeks ago. Click any picture to embiggen.

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Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Links: College Football’s Opening Day

September 3, 2009 Comments off

Levi Johnston dishes on life with Sarah Palin and speaks ill of her marriage to Todd in a Vanity fair article – wow, kid, milk that gossip… The US Senate, with less nepotism… Brazil’s racial problems are deep… will the lobbyists for the health care status quo – like the “Million Med March” (aka “protect the doctors’ salaries above all else”) – even listen to a possible bipartisan health care plan that triggers a public option if the insurance companies can’t meet quality/ cost benchmarks? And why is that called a “compromise” as opposed to “bipartisan” in the article? Should tort reform be in the health care bill?… On lighter notes: The end of “Reading Rainbow“… the Fast Food as the Mafia (graphic, funny, non-political)… and 12 most annoying types of Facebookers.

diamond iconIn honor of the beginning of college football, two fun images. First, a billboard bought by former Notre Dame player Tom Reynolds:

Charlie Weis billboard 5th Year of Coaching Internship

diamond iconAnd if you haven’t seen this year’s Oregon Ducks uniforms, check them out when they play Boise State tonight… or look at the winged shoulders here:

Oregon Ducks uniforms

diamond iconIn what will be a hotly-followed story, Rich Rodriguez is named in a lawsuit about a Virginia condo development… he’s been connected to a banned booster… he’s accused of violating NCAA rules on how much time coaches required players to spend working out… so of course there’s a Fire Rich Rodriguez site.

diamond iconThe Quad blog from the New York Times has Florida as… #2!  So Texas is their #1…


diamond iconNebraska gets an extra basketball scholarship (14 total), based on an NCAA mix-up on eligibility standards.

diamond iconJim Larranaga’s leaving Twitter after poking fun at a silly NCAA rule about being able to give student-athletes bagels but no condiments/ spreads.

diamond iconMets third base coach Razor Shines, perhaps, doesn’t scout the throwing arms of the opposing outfielders.

diamond iconScout.com has their Top 75 basketball players in the nation (and Canada) for 2011.

diamond iconSupposedly Nets’ owner Bruce Ratner is looking to make bank by selling the Nets at a premium price and THEN wants to get the new owners to pay him a hefty fee for the right to play in the Brooklyn Barclay’s Arena… whenever it happens. He’d then get the profits of the stadium without the financial drain of owning the team.

diamond iconAnd now, the first of many St. John’s coach Norm Roberts job “may be” on the line if he doesn’t win this year. Of course, someone has to speak to why this year is so different than any other year, and what “get it done” actually means. NCAAs? NIT?

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Finding the Price Point for Televised Sporting Events

July 4, 2009 2 comments

Growing up, it was hard to see teams other than the “big boys” in college football; especially in the New York City area, before Connecticut went to the D-I aka FBS level, and while Rutgers was just poor.  I didn’t know anyone who stopped everything for Saturday football; the teams that came on – even close ones like Penn State – had no relation to my life. I never knew of the need to see one’s football team, the wearing of college football colors, the sense of regional pride that the southern and plains and midwestern teams engendered.

One of those teams – specifically, Nebraska football – is the reason I got in to college football. In college, I lived in a 6 person suite, with a room right next to the common area, where we had a small TV.  My suitemate from Omaha was a huge Huskers fan.  Huge.  I would be working (or drinking) late into the night on Fridays. He used to wake me up on Saturday, about 11.20 AM yelling about some Nebraska foible… while they were up 14 on, say, Troy State. That made me cranky as hell, so I brushed up on my football so I could insult the Cornhuskers, especially when they played Mizzou… or some team that might actually beat them in the 90’s.

The fervor was not restricted to Nebraska, of course. And the proliferation of cable/ satellite options, channels, and regional programming means that more people can feed their need for information. There is obviously a demand to not only see one’s teams, but the get the “inside scoop,” the “candid” and “unfiltered” information – to get close to one’s team.  The best way of doing this is either to find a news outlet with a huge budget to cover the team, or to localize the news.

Those Nebraska fans, would travel from far and wide to see their team live – putting money into ticket sales, gasoline, tailgating food; there is a cost that they are willing to pay to experience Nebraska football. Now, the school will test the price tag of that dedication by showing their first three non-conference games in pay-per-view format. The linked article touches on the revenue concept for many bigger-time teams, schools, and conferences looking for ways to control their revenue streams and differentiate viewers, separating the casuals from the die-hards, who will pay much more per view than you and I might through our cable or satellite package.  And that money goes to the school and their content distributor.

I suppose that this is problematic, as we expect to get our sports television for a small fee; but there are fans who pay good money to get the aforementioned “insider” information on recruiting sites; conference specific television; and team-specific networks in major markets that might, like the Yankees will, expand into in-market online deals at an advanced price.

These moves, if profitable, start to inform both sports broadcasters, cable/ satellite tv companies (dealing with competition from online sites like Hulu), and sports fans about what the model will be going forward for sports. Segmenting fans helps bring the right money to the producers and determines the actual value of the product, on the business side.

But on the fan side, this kind of segmentation can be parsed too finely. The pay-per-view model loses the fairweather fans and the casual sports fans. And will pay per view remove the socia aspect of watching the game at a dedicated bar over wings and beer?  What value do those fans have to the schools and the media producers? This experiment will start to delve into the question.